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Sheriff  Ed McMahon


Sheriff Ed McMahon began his law enforcement career in 1988 with the Vermont State Police, where he rose to the rank of Senior Trooper.  In 1991, he and his family returned to Wilmington and he continued his career by joining the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. 


During his career with New Hanover County, Sheriff Ed has worked in both the Patrol and Detective Divisions where he served as a Deputy, Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant and Assistant Division Commander. In 2003 he was promoted to the rank of Captain and assigned to head the Judicial Services Division. 


In 2007, he was promoted to Chief Deputy by Sheriff Sid Causey and served in that position until 2009, when he was appointed Sheriff upon the retirement of Sheriff Causey.  He was elected by the people of New Hanover County to serve as their Sheriff in 2010. In 2013, Sheriff Ed McMahon was appointed to the Seventh Congressional District Homeland Security Task Force and graduated Chief Executed Leadership Training at the Southern Police Institute.


The Sheriff married his college sweetheart, Teena, in 1982, and they have two married children, Shaun and his wife Sara, and Taryn and husband Josh.  They are the proud grandparents of Braylee, Camdyn, Tenley, and Sadie whom they adore.


Sheriff Ed is quoted as saying, “What an honor and a privilege it is to serve and protect the citizens of this great County.  I give God the glory for His blessings on my life.  I want to be a humble and available leader, serving with Professionalism, Responsibility, and Accountability.  I would ask that each citizen join with me in praying for God’s wisdom each day as I make decisions that affect each and every life that I serve.”




  • 1988 – Vermont Police Academy – Pittsford, Vermont

  • 1991 – Basic Law Enforcement Training – Cape Fear Community College

  • 1998 – Advance Law Enforcement Certificate – State of North Carolina

  • 1998 – Officer of the Year Award

  • 2000 – 911 Worker of the Year Award

  • 2004 – FBI National Academy – Quantico, Virginia

  • 2008 – Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Disciplinary Studies – Liberty University

  • 2011 – Navigating Leadership Workshop – University of North Carolina –Wilmington

  • 2012 – North Carolina Sheriff’s Leadership Institute – Chapel Hill, North   Carolina

  • 2012 – National Sheriff’s Leadership Institute – Aurora, Colorado

  • 2012 – Sons of the American Revolution Law Enforcement Commendation Medal

  • 2013- Seventh Congressional District Homeland Security Task Force

  •  2013- Chief Executed Leadership Training at the Southern Police Institute.

  • 2014- Presented with the Woffie Award. This award is presented to those who go above and beyond for the welfare of animals in the Cape Fear area.